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Frito-Lay to Begin Labeling Gluten-Free Products

In a much-needed move toward reliable labeling of gluten-free products, Frito-Lay has commenced an effort to test, verify, and eventually label its already gluten-free products. As one of the largest food manufacturers in the world, Frito-Lay (and PepsiCo, its parent corporation) is well-positioned to make a significant difference in the lives of Americans with gluten sensitivities (the initiative is exclusive to products in the U.S.).

Photo: CC--janetmckCeliac disease sufferers should be wary of putting too much trust in this labeling effort though. As evidenced by the recent controversy surrounding Domino's “gluten-free” pizza crust, gluten-free is not standardized terminology (though the NASSCD is trying to remedy this) and gluten-free is becoming a popular, i.e. profitable market.

Unlike Domino's offering though, it would seem that Frito-Lay is doing a thorough job of substantiating their gluten-free claim. They are working with the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program to test both ingredients and finished products for the presence of gluten. Any products containing less than 20ppm of gluten off the manufacturing line (in accordance with the FDA's Proposed Rule for Gluten Free Labeling) will soon be labeled as gluten-free.

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It still remains to be seen how their labeling scheme will be rolled out, but looking at their website's guide to gluten-free products, they currently separate their products into two varieties of products for gluten-conscious customers. They are describing their verified and tested (less than 20ppm) products as gluten-free, and their untested, 'kind of' gluten-free (potentially manufactured on gluten-contaminated lines) products as “Products Not Containing Gluten Ingredients”. The website makes it pretty clear what the two designations mean if you read the accompanying text, but there is room for concern if they attempt a labeling scheme that obscures the reality of the products. One would hope they will only label the tested and verified products, and leave the untested ones as they are, to be found by gluten-conscious (but not deathly allergic) customers who have done their research.

Frito-Lay seems benevolent enough, with at least some concern and regard for the celiac population, so hopefully the labeling scheme will reflect this. In addition to their labeling effort, they have partnered with the Celiac Disease Foundation and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness to commence a celiac disease awareness initiative. It will utilize Frito-Lay's partnerships and social media channels to provide educational content in English and Spanish, hopefully reaching the undiagnosed and unaware portion of the estimated 21 million gluten-sensitive Americans.

Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/frito-lay-announces-initiative-to-validate-and-label-products-as-gluten-free-2012-05-18

As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).


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6 Responses:

 
Donnie

said this on
19 May 2012 3:24:11 PM PDT
I won't be eating the snacks anyway. Their products seem to be cross-contaminated with corn, or sulfites, or whatever. I react to the products that are supposed to be corn and preservative free. So, I'm not going to put any blind faith in their gluten-free labels.

 
janet lee

said this on
21 May 2012 2:41:01 PM PDT
How can you even suggest people with a disease that affects their bowels eat this garbage? Frito Lay is being sued for incorrect claims already. I have no doubt that people get this disease in the first place from eating too many processed foods - or because their parents ate processed foods. To keep encouraging this madness is something we can't afford!! What about an apple?

 
said this on
21 May 2012 2:57:57 PM PDT
This article is intended to inform those who already do or wish to consume Frito-Lay products. We are making no suggestions.

 
mina904

said this on
22 May 2012 8:55:59 PM PDT
Thanks for this.

 
Albert

said this on
24 May 2012 7:33:04 AM PDT
Good article.
Gluten-free has become sort of a fad diet for the misinformed, and companies are capitalizing on those same wishful and uninformed people. While it's great that companies like Frito-Lay are bending over backwards to make their junk food more accessible to a minority of their customers, the easiest and best way to live gluten-free is to eat more whole and healthy foods instead of replacing wheat junk with non-wheat junk.

 
Julie

said this on
04 Oct 2012 9:55:41 AM PDT
I am thrilled whenever a large, mainstream company begins taking gluten free seriously - and I really do not care if their motive is for profit or their food is "junk" - the more mainstream gluten-free goes, the better. Then it is my choice (and I will have more of them) whether I eat it or not, but at least I have the choice because they dared to go gluten-free. I just wish below 20ppm wasn't the standard for gluten-free - I wish it was 0ppm, but hey, it's a start.




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Thank you ps, it may be better if the thread title was changed as we now have two 'overwhelmed' topics. If it were 'Bile ducts and celiac?' then it may attract more users with direct experience?

Hello and welcome Maybe? From reading others accounts there's a big variation in how quickly gluten antibodies respond to the gluten diet. I did similar to you and my doctor said that 1 week back on should be enough to show up in a test, but he didn't know what he was talking about sadly... The 2 week figure refers to the endoscopy, for blood testing 8-12 weeks on gluten is more normal. Basically if it comes back positive fine you have your answer. If its negative it may be a false negative due to your going gluten free beforehand. If you want to pursue a diagnosis then yes. Don't go off gluten again until you confirm that all testing is complete. Keep a journal noting any symptoms, that may be useful to you later. More info here: There's some good info in the site faq: https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/announcement/3-frequently-asked-questions-about-celiac-disease/ I know how you feel! Partway through my gluten challenge I knew that too results notwithstanding. Fwiw I think you've found your answer. Good luck!

Learn more about testing for celiac disease here: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ You do have to be on a gluten diet for ANY of the celiac tests (blood and biopsy) to work. While the endoscopy (with biopsies) can reveal villi damage, many other things besides celiac disease can cause villi damage too: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/faq/what-else-can-cause-damage-to-the-small-intestine-other-than-celiac-disease/ So, both the blood test and endoscopy are usually ordered. There are some exceptions, but those are not common.

Exactly what are your allergy symptoms? Were they IgG or IgE? Allergy testing as a whole is not super accurate -- especially the IgG. Were you on any H1 or H2 antihistamines for the last five days when you were tested? As far as celiac testing, four days without consuming gluten probably would not impact testing.

I've been seeing my dr for a few weeks now about my stomach issues. We've ruled out the gallbladder and h-pylori and today I had the celiac blood tests done. From the reading I've done the past two days, it seems to me that it's highly likely that I have it. I've had digestive issues for years, but they've gotten progressively worse over the past 6 months or so. Pain and nausea when eating, bloat, eternal constipation, dh rash, at it's worse, tight cramp-like pain in a fist under my sternum, radiating through my back and around my right side keeping me up at night. Also heartburn/reflux and trouble swallowing, etc. Anyway, about 2 months ago, I needed a change. I didn't go to the dr immediately because it seemed pointless. (I've mentioned stomach ache when eating to drs before and been blown off.) So, I started the Whole30 elimination diet (takes out soy, grains, dairy, peanuts, and leaves you basically eating meat & veggies). Figured it would show me what I needed to take out of my diet and hopefully feel better. It worked- I felt great! And it seems that grains and gluten are my biggest offenders. But, now I've been off gluten prior to celiac testing. It's been 7 weeks. After 4 weeks I tested steal cut oats, that I later found out were probably glutened. And then nothing until yesterday. Yesterday I had 2 pieces of bread and a muffin and today I had two pieces of bread and then the blood test. Is this going to be enough to show up on the tests? My dr said that it would probably show up, since I had some yesterday and today and was currently having symptoms. But, google seems to say that I should be glutened for 2 wks straight before testing. Has anyone tested positive after just a little gluten? If it's negative should I insist on doing it again after weeks back on gluten? I feel awful, but do want clear answers. Obviously, gluten's not going to be a part of my life any more either way.